Friday, October 6, 2023

Court Dismisses Complaint Due To Lack of Timely Service

In the case of Vargas v. United Modular Enter. LLC, No. 2022-05051 (C.P. Bucks Co. June 30, 2023 McMaster, J.), the Plaintiff filed an appeal challenging the trial court’s Order sustaining Preliminary Objections raised by the Defendants with regards to the Plaintiff’s failure to properly complete service of a Complaint.

The court trial court determined that the Plaintiff had failed to prove that he had made good faith efforts to timely serve the Defendants and, in this Rule 1925 Opinion, recommended that the Superior Court affirm the trial court's Order.

According to the Opinion, this case arose out of a motor vehicle accident.

The Plaintiff filed a Complaint eight (8) days before the statute of limitations expired but did not attempt service until well past the thirty (30) day requirement.

The trial court reviewed the case of Lamp v. Heyman and its progeny. The court emphasized the importance of a plaintiff demonstrating good faith efforts to serve the Complaint within the required time frame.

Here, the trial court found that there is no concrete evidence produced by the Plaintiff showing that good faith efforts were made to complete service in a timely fashion. According to the Opinion, it did not appear that the Plaintiff attempted to even initiate service attempts over the five (5) months after he filed the original Complaint.

Given that the statute of limitations had effectively expired before proper service was accomplished, the court requested the Superior Court to affirm its Order sustaining of the Defendant’s Preliminary Objections.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Aug. 22, 2023).

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